In Focus

How to light a room

Teleisha Thomas

Teleisha Thomas

May 2023
Zoe Murphy 1

Interior designer Zoe Murphy from Zoe Murphy Creative Office is a force for colour, art and unique design. Some of the most outstanding homes that we see at Jellis Craig are often those anchored deeply in individuality, and in no home is this more apparent than Interior Designer Zoe Murphy’s stunning (and recently sold by Jellis Craig Armadale) heritage Toorak home.

We visited Zoe in her home to discuss her tips on how to introduce warmth through lighting a room.

Clever design. Seamless integration. Luxury finishes. The right lighting is essential in all rooms of your home.

Lighting should never be an afterthought as the right lighting can have a huge impacts on your mood and emotions. Lighting has the ability to lift your spirits, to make you more relaxed or inspire your productivity. Light enlivens the little things.

I am a true believer that each room needs more than one source of light. Think layered illumination whereby each room has a mix of overhead, accent and task lighting. 

In the living room, for example, you might begin by hanging a decorative ceiling fixture. You would then move to the outer perimeter of the room for downlighting that will gently wash the walls, curtains and art with warm, functional brightness.


Depending on the layout of the room, accent lights may be used to highlight art, table lamps could be placed on bench tops, floor lamps sit beside a couch or occasional chair and for extra ambiance, soft lighting from a candle is a truly luxurious addition.

The end goal is to create a contrast between the multiple sources of individual light and the darker spaces in between. I believe it is the subtle interplay between light and dark within a space that creates appeal.

There are some incredible light designs in the market, and I am a big believer in functional elements such as lighting acting as a form of art or interest within a home. Decorative lighting will not only brighten dark corners and create an ambiance, but it can also be a point of conversation.

Nowhere is layered illumination more prolific than in Zoe’s living and kitchen area.

My number one tip?

Don’t overdo the downlights. Whilst functional and completely necessary in some rooms of the home, an oversupply of downlights can flatten a space.

Zoe Murphy 2

Zoe Murphy Creative Office offers interior design and styling for residential and commercial projects. If you would like to speak to Zoe about your next design project, visit her website to book a consult.

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